When we ask Google to give us a definition of a big size 3D printer, or in particular »big», it comes up with the following wording: big /adjective: Of considerable size or extent.
Wandering on the TCT Show in Birmingham it seemed like almost every 3D printing company has a printer with the ability to print “gigantic, mega, big, great, giant-sized, or huge”. Noticeable however, that no so called big size 3D printer was shown in action. Therefore, the debut of our T3500 at the exhibition raised above our expectations.
Our big size 3D printer was shining like a star while being admired and adored by lots of visitors. The T3500 started at the beginning of the trade show on Monday, 5 p.m. sharp and kept going until the end of the show on Thursday 5 p.m. Meaning 72 hours of non stop 3D printing a big size object. And by big, we mean BIG.
The result was a 1.4 meter (4.6 feet) sized vase. If the trade show would have been for another day, the unstoppable T3500 could have printed even larger, since it is able to print up to 2.1 meters (6.9 feet) high! A showpiece to be proud of.
But looking around on the TCT, it made us wonder. Why wasn’t there any other ‘large’ or big size 3D printer showing off skills doing a live performance print? A little investigation learned that even though many companies claim to have a large volume 3D printer, in reality it means their largest 3D printer is a bigger one in comparison to the other printers in their product line. These companies simply have a different frame of reference. In our frame of reference a big size 3D printer has a build volume of at least 1 meter (3.3 feet) by 1 meter (3.3 feet).
It is possible to create a big object with a smaller 3D printer, by printing several small parts and gluing it together afterwards. When you finish the object with for example sanding, priming and paint spraying, it will look like it is printed all at once. But this will take a lot of manual work.
If you want to print large objects, you would have to make sure that what you see is really what you get. Of course in some cases it may not bother you if designs are printed in several parts or in once piece. And 3D prints often need some sort of finishing anyway. But being able to print large objects for real, on a true big size 3D printer, makes a difference in your efficiency for real. And it will reduce real time and real costs.
Not only are we manufacturing the largest commercially available 3D printer in the world, we also want to share our 3D printing knowledge. Doing this in a (honest) way, so everyone can benefit of this technology. It is our goal to help visualize the possibilities for all, as well as being real about the challenges. We hope you share your ideas with us and together we will find the best way for you to create your designs on big size 3D printer. Truly big that is.